JERUSALEM (Jul. 8)
Knesset Speaker Yitzhak Berman said today that the controversial bill affirming united Jerusalem as Israel’s capital will not be rushed through the Knesset unless the government declares that it is urgent. The Cabinet on Sunday did not go along with a demand by Transport Minister Haim Landau that it will support the bill.
Geula Cohen, of the ultra-nationalist Tehiya faction, who introduced the private member bill as an amendment to Israel’s Basic Law, met with Berman today to urge him not to delay the legislative process. The bill was sent to the Knesset June 30 by its Legal Committee and officially reached the chamber today.
According to Cohen, Berman said he would do nothing to delay nor speed up the bill. He said if the government did not indicate the bill was urgent “it would take its place in the queue” for a first reading.
The government is reportedly eager to bury the bill. The only member of the governing coalition supporting it is the National Religious Party. The Knesset is due to take its summer recess at the end of the month and not return until October.